Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen3HamiltonHamilton Academical0

Aberdeen 3-0 Hamilton Academical: Confident Dons find their shooting boots

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport

Aberdeen found their scoring touch to beat Hamilton Academical and build on their League Cup semi-final success.

The Pittodrie side had not scored more than once against anyone other than St Mirren this season.

But captain Graeme Shinnie fired them into an early lead and James Wilson followed suit with a looping long-range drive soon after.

Mikey Devlin's second-half drive deceived goalkeeper Gary Woods before Accies' Dougie Imrie was sent off.

The win does not improve Aberdeen's league position, but manager Derek McInnes will be delighted having said pre-match that his side's priority was to keep pace with teams above them.

Accies started the evening just below their eighth-placed hosts, but ended it having fallen eight points adrift of the Dons and down to third bottom behind Motherwell.

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Visiting manager Martin Canning strung five across the back as his side looked to end a run of eight consecutive defeats at Pittodrie.

It is fine to pack your side with defenders, but they might as well not be there if they fail to press their opponents. Shinnie was allowed an age to pick his spot after eight minutes.

Max Lowe had provided the early impetus, rampaging forward from left-back as the Englishman looked to impress after Andrew Considine failed to recover from his head knock against Rangers at Hampden.

Not that Accies were yet out of the game at this stage and Lowe was unable to prevent opposing full-back Aaron McGowan unleashing a low drive against the outside of the far post.

However, it was on-loan Manchester United striker Wilson's turn to be given time to pick his spot and his powerful effort whizzed in from 22 yards.

Canning was forced to replace Fredrik Brustad with fellow striker James Keatings shortly before half-time and the visitors' goal threat dipped, if anything, after the break.

Devlin was able to stroll forward from central defence and, although his 30-yard drive was powerful, Gary Woods responded with a Halloween howler as the former Accies player came back to haunt them.

There was still time for Accies' misery too deepen, with captain Imrie sent off in the final seconds for a second yellow card as their run of games without a win stretched to five.

James Wilson (left) and Greame Shinnie (second right) celebrate
James Wilson (left) and Greame Shinnie (second right) scored for Aberdeen

Accies toothless without MacKinnon - analysis

BBC Scotland's Tyrone Smith at Pittodrie Stadium

After booking their League Cup final place at the weekend, this win perhaps provided further evidence Aberdeen have turned a corner this season. McInnes will certainly hope so - and his side looked hungry and up for it from the off.

There was plenty of slick play aided by a real masterclass of finishing, the kind of display that has come to characterise Dons performances of recent years.

As for Hamilton, they certainly missed the snarling, and suspended, Darian MacKinnon, who could have played at Pittodrie if they had contested the midfielder's ban, but arguably a "let's take our medicine" approach was the prudent thing for Accies to do.

The Lanarkshire side were well beaten, but in fairness, they will not be judged on the outcome of matches like this one and you still sense they have the guile and fight required to survive the brutal battle in the Premiership basement.

Post-match reaction

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes

"Potentially, although we were confident going into the game, a lot of the energy taken out of the team after Sunday could have made this a lot trickier than it was.

"Hamilton set up 5-4-1, got a lot of bodies behind the ball. We were guilty of some sloppiness in the first half, but we also lit up the game with a few moments of quality and the first two goals were fantastic.

"Hamilton were a threat on the counter-attack and, if we didn't look after the ball as well as we did, they could have picked us off.

"But 3-0, a clean sheet, three points, delighted to follow on from Sunday."

Hamilton Academical manager Martin Canning

"I thought we had opportunities in the game. We didn't have the final pass or final shot or the bit of quality to go and score the goal.

"Coming away to Celtic, Rangers or Aberdeen, you know it's going to be a difficult night, you know you're going to have to be disciplined and I thought we were.

"They didn't have many clear-cut opportunities, but you need to counter well and you need to play well on the break and have the quality to cause them problems and we weren't able to do that and that's disappointing."

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 18Devlin
  • 5McKenna
  • 29Lowe
  • 19Ferguson
  • 3Shinnie
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forMayat 65'minutes
  • 15WrightSubstituted forAndersonat 80'minutes
  • 10McGinn
  • 9WilsonSubstituted forMcLennanat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Gleeson
  • 16Cosgrove
  • 17May
  • 20Cerny
  • 21Ball
  • 25Anderson
  • 27McLennan

Hamilton

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Woods
  • 2McGowanBooked at 27mins
  • 5Tshiembe
  • 6KilgallonBooked at 22mins
  • 3McMann
  • 11Miller
  • 25MartinSubstituted forPennyat 68'minutes
  • 4Gordon
  • 7ImrieBooked at 90mins
  • 9BinghamSubstituted forSmithat 80'minutes
  • 31BrustadSubstituted forKeatingsat 42'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Keatings
  • 17Penny
  • 20Marsden
  • 21Want
  • 26Kelly
  • 28Smith
  • 46Sowah
Referee:
Greg Aitken
Attendance:
12,365

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home65%
Away35%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away1
Fouls
Home9
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 3, Hamilton Academical 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 3, Hamilton Academical 0.

  3. Dismissal

    Second yellow card to Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Ziggy Gordon.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Scott McMann.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Aberdeen. Conceded by Alex Penny.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Max Lowe (Aberdeen).

  11. Post update

    Aaron McGowan (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Bruce Anderson replaces Scott Wright.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Lewis Smith replaces Rakish Bingham.

  15. Booking

    Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott McMann (Hamilton Academical) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.

  19. Post update

    Scott Wright (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Delphin Tshiembe (Hamilton Academical).

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